Is Now A Good Time To Buy a Piano?

Is Now A Good Time To Buy a Piano?

As you read or listen to the tv, there are always opinions on the right way to do different things around your home. People recommend the best times for home improvement projects, the best time to save money … and when you shouldn’t invest in something new. 

What about pianos? Is there a good time to buy a new piano? 

Like any retail business, there may be times when additional perks or discounts make buying a new or used piano an even better decision. 

Summer

When most people think of summer, they plan picnics, bike rides, and days at the beach. Playing the piano isn’t something that comes into mind, which is why it’s a great time to invest in a new piano. Business is a little slower, and piano dealers take that opportunity to offer deals to move both new and used inventory. They have more time to spend with you when you visit, and you can spend more time finding the right piano to suit your needs. You may also receive incentives on moving and delivering, and ensuring your piano is set up and ready to play for your enjoyment all year long. This can get you ready for the fall …

Fall

As summer rolls into autumn, nights grow longer, days grow colder, and we spend more time inside. Kids go back to school, and we look for inside activities to fill our days. That’s when people look for inside activities, and piano sales increase exponentially. This is when piano dealers have the most inventory. It’s also when they may incentivize pianos because they get better deals from their manufacturers. If you want a good selection, this may be the perfect time to stop in and see what’s new. 

Winter

Winter blows in during the month of December. And that’s a perfect time to surprise the family with a gift the whole family can enjoy. Playing the piano isn’t just for the kids; studies show parents, even grandparents love it too. It’s a hobby you can enjoy at any age, and has a host of benefits for all of those that play. Whether you’re just starting on your music journey, or have been wanting to upgrade and bring a new grand piano into your home, this is a great time to take a look at what’s in stock at your local piano store. 

Spring

Spring cleaning gets rid of the old and makes way for the new. Spring is a time of change, a time when we move to a new house, and bring back the things we truly love. Are you more present after the pandemic? Are you looking for more activities to enjoy at home? Maybe your spring cleaning has made room for what’s most important. If that includes a new piano, you’re in luck. Because other people are thinking this way too, you’ll often find your best selection of used pianos during the spring months. This inventory can change daily, so it’s a good idea to stop by and talk about your wants and needs, so we can help you find the perfect piano to suit your desires. 

Can I Buy a Piano With Ivory Keys?

Can I Buy a Piano With Ivory Keys?

What does buying a new piano mean to you? Are you looking for an antique, one that graced the home of an influential person in the past? If you’ve done your research and focused on one from years ago, you might have found a piano with ivory keys. 

Is it legal to buy it?

Real ivory keys on a piano may be beautiful, but they are also illegal. Ivory keys were made from the tusks of elephants or similar animals and filed into ivory veneers that fit delicately on the piano key tops. They are made from keratin – the same material as hair and fingernails. Ivory has the added bonus of having a slightly rough texture, which gives you the grip you need while you play. 

The ivory trade worldwide came to a halt in 1989 with the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). This put into law that anything using real ivory would no longer be able to be bought or sold, shipped across state lines, or out of the country. This applies to all ivory – from small statues to entire pianos made from ivory.  A complete ban made the value drop, and the desire to trade non-existent. 

Still, ivory is out there. What if you own it?

Although you cannot buy, sell, or trade ivory anywhere in the world, you can keep ivory if it’s already yours. If a piano with ivory keys is already in your family, the idea of not wasting something that’s already in place comes into use. 

Just keep in mind that they have no value. The keys only have a small veneer that sits on top. It’s not the entire piano key made from ivory. This thin slice would have little value even if you could trade it. 

Because they are made from a material similar to your fingernail, they are also likely to crack and break over time. 

Restoration services may be able to reattach ivory if it falls off. They also have the ability to match ivory with cruelty-free replacements. Thanks to today’s materials and technology, they can often replace it to look so close to the original, you’ll be hard pressed to tell which one isn’t ivory. 

If you no longer want your ivory keyboard, restoration technicians do take it in to replace other vintage pianos and keep them as original as possible. This is to ensure that this precious resource doesn’t go to waste. Donation is the only way to part with this material. 

Do you have a piano with ivory keys? 

Finding a New Piano To Best To Suit Your Needs?

Finding a New Piano To Best To Suit Your Needs?

Certain products are easy to buy. You visit a store, pick one off the shelf, and bring it home to use. 

Finding a new piano is a little more difficult. If you do any research at all, you’ll quickly discover that pianos come in all shapes and sizes, and are rated and ranked in a way you might not understand. 

But that doesn’t make the decision process difficult. With a little research, you can determine what type of piano is right for your needs. 

In general, there are two groups of pianos: performance-grade and consumer-grade. 

Performance-grade pianos are designed with:

  • The highest standards
  • Custom refinements that expert players will notice
  • Individual care, in small quantities that ensure a legendary status
  • Performance features in mind. They are built with music halls in mind. 

Performance-grade pianos are the brand names everyone in the industry knows. They are handcrafted to achieve perfection in both looks and sound. 

Consumer-grade pianos are built to be sold at an affordable price. While they might not be completely mass produced, they do have materials, workmanship, and prices that reflect affordability to those who choose to play at a hobby or amateur scale. 

While every piano is built separately and will bring its own nuances to the music, you’ll notice fewer differences when you compare a consumer-grade piano. They are designed to be the workhorses of the industry. They are created to bring the joy of music to everyone who chooses to do so. 

If you’re new to playing the piano, a quality consumer-grade piano will give you years of enjoyment. The more you practice and play, the more your skills will develop as a pianist. That’s when it may be time to move up in design, and invest in a piano that better suits your needs. 

Are you ready to invest in a new piano? How can we help you find the best one to suit your needs?  

Are Piano Sales at Your Local College a Good Deal?

Are Piano Sales at Your Local College a Good Deal?

Whether you’re alumni of a local college, or live in an area where a university plays a big role in your community, you may have received a notification of piano sales at the end of each term. 

The concept may pique your attention. It seems like a good deal. 

The college sends out a message of a pending piano sale. The college has old pianos in its music school it needs to sell in order to make room for the new pianos it’s bringing on campus. These can be anywhere from practice instruments to concert pianos on display as pianists showcase their talents. 

Who doesn’t want a good deal? And when you combine it with the thought of helping out your local college or university, it’s a win/win for everyone. 

The trouble is, it’s not. 

What’s happening instead is a bait and switch tactic. A piano manufacturer or dealer approaches a school offering a few new pianos for free for the chance to open up and hold a sale for the public. The school gets a few free pianos. The dealer gets the opportunity to bring in a variety of pianos from their retail location and sell them to the public. 

Will you get the “good deals” promised in the advertisement? There are only a few of those available. Instead, you’ll be left bargaining with the dealer on purchasing a new or used piano directly from their saleroom floors. 

Here’s the other thing you should know: the proceeds do not benefit the college or university. The only way the school benefits is by receiving a few pianos in exchange for using the space to hold the sale. The college may get use of these “free” pianos for a year. But they won’t get a cut of each sale. 

The final thing to consider before buying from one of these events is about who will service your piano after the sale. With a dealer in your local community, you can always return with questions and concerns. Want a referral for a piano tuner? Have a question about the way your piano sounds? We’re here to make sure you fully enjoy the experience. 

When you buy through a piano sale on a local campus, you won’t have someone to return to for warranties or questions. You’ll be on your own. After spending potentially thousands on what started out as a good deal. 

Before you head out and shop at a college piano sale, stop by our retail location instead. We’ll be here for you today and tomorrow, and ensure you get the piano that works best for you. 

Avoid These Mistakes When Selecting a New Piano

Avoid These Mistakes When Selecting a New Piano

One of the greatest gifts you can give your child, or even yourself, is the gift of music. Unlike a lot of hobbies, music brings benefits for a lifetime. Sit down as a child, and it can help improve test scores, and make you better at linguistics. Play regularly as an adult, and it offers enhanced cognitive skills and stress relief. 

When you put it like that, it’s easy to see that an investment in a new piano could quite literally change your life. 

Still, new pianos can be expensive. It might come as sticker shock the first time you take in the price tag. That can make you scramble for something cheaper … and leave you with an instrument that is subpar at best. 

Pianos are a long term investment. To avoid common mistakes when selecting a new piano, keep these tips in mind. 

Know your budget

Part of setting a budget is understanding the true value of what you’re investing in. If you see a free piano on Craigslist, you might be tempted to lower your budget considerably. Think again. When people resort to giving away a piano on Craigslist, it’s often because it has sat untouched for years (or decades.) The piano is out of tune. It’s lost its tonal quality. It won’t sound right if you play it. And it will take a lot of money to bring it back up to working condition. Don’t be intimidated by stopping in and browsing our showroom floor. There are many upright and grand piano options. We can help you define your budget more clearly, and take home a piano that truly suits your needs. 

Pay attention to quality

What’s wrong with a piano that’s slightly out of tune? We often compare it to playing soccer with a “slightly” flat ball. If the instrument you are playing doesn’t sound right, the music produced won’t sound right to your ears. That decreases your desire to want to keep playing, and reduces the chance that you’ll continue on with lessons. No matter what your budget is, there are instruments that can give you years of enjoyment. Pay attention to the brand name. Touch the keys and make sure each produces sound. Listen to the sound it makes – is it enjoyable to your ears? Even without formal training, you’ll be surprised at how much you can hear simply by touching the keys and listening carefully. 

Consider your needs and options

There are many different types, styles, and options when it comes to selecting your new piano. Don’t overlook used pianos – we carry a full selection of used pianos that can give you a high quality piano at a lower cost. You may also wish to consider digital, which can give you ease of use when it comes to transferring your music to your computer. Or plug in a pair of headphones, and you can play no matter what else is happening in the room. 

Piano dealers have more to offer

With so many different ways of finding a piano, why should you consider visiting a piano dealer? You’ll be missing out on the knowledge they’ve built up for years. They can help you get answers to questions you didn’t even know you had. They can give you financing options, offer warranties, even help you buy a starter with the option to move up to higher quality as your skills grow. If you have specific desires, they can help find the right piano to suit your needs. That’s something you’ll never see from a free listing on Craigslist. 

Have you been looking in the wrong places for a new piano? Avoid making the most common mistakes people make when shopping for a new piano, and you’ll invest in an instrument that brings you years of joy and playability. 

How can we help you find the perfect piano to suit your needs? 

Can a Digital Piano Replace an Acoustic Piano?

Can a Digital Piano Replace an Acoustic Piano?

Some musicians will tell you playing an acoustic piano is the only way to go. Others will say that a digital piano can be a great learning tool. 

Which way should you go? Can a digital piano replace an acoustic piano? Can you learn on either one? 

The two types of pianos can both bring music to your life. If you’re trying to decide between the two, the first step is to take a few minutes to evaluate your needs. 

A teenager looking to recreate their favorite pop songs is different from an empty nester wanting to take up a new hobby. Both have a desire to learn the piano. But both can approach it in entirely different ways. 

Start with a few questions.

  • Do you have room for a piano in your home?
  • Will you be playing with others?
  • Is this for personal enjoyment, or do you want to form a band?
  • Will you be sharing your music online?
  • Will others be using the piano within your family?

An acoustic piano comes in two formats: vertical and grand. Uprights most often sit against a wall, taking up a small amount of space. Grand pianos are often put on display, becoming the center of your decor. 

Digital pianos have been adapted to modern technology. You can find them in all shapes and sizes. They come in three different types: a grand piano, an upright, and a portable. Like its acoustic counterpart, a high-quality digital piano will provide the same touch and action. If you’re going digital, pay particular attention to the sound. 

Sound will always be better when using an acoustic piano. Sound is produced when the hammer strikes a string. Depending on the instrument, it has a rich, warm tone with better articulation and expression. Because a digital piano records the sound, it can only mimic the tonal quality. It will never have the same nuances as an acoustic piano. 

What the digital piano may lack in sound, it makes up for with additional features. It has the ability to create a wide variety of sounds, from drum beats to almost any instrument. Digital pianos can record and create a digital file you can share. Plugin headphones, and you can practice just about anywhere. And if you select a portable version, you can take it with you no matter where you roam. 

While a digital piano will never fully replace an acoustic piano, it can provide different resources that may be perfect to suit your needs. 

Need help deciding which is suitable for you? Stop by today and see our entire line of acoustic and digital pianos. 

Should I Buy a 50 Year Old Piano?

Should I Buy a 50 Year Old Piano?

Why do some things gain more value with age? 

There’s a myth in the antique industry that if it’s old, it must be valuable. That’s what creates good television, with shows that look for lost treasure found in grandma’s attic. 

But just because something is old, doesn’t make it worth a lot of money. When thinking about age and the object in question, the best place to start is by going back to when the item was made. What’s the intrinsic value? How much was the item when it was originally sold? 

That applies to pianos too. 

In every case, pianos have been produced in two ways: quickly to move it out to the masses, and slowly with the thought of it being top of the line. The more love and care put into the crafting process, the more it will uphold its value over time. 

As yourself a few questions about the piano you’re considering:

  • Is it rare?
  • Does it have a valuable brand name?
  • Are there words to describe it in the industry?
  • What is its history?
  • Who owned it?
  • How much did they pay for it? 

The better you can define it, the more value it could possibly have. 

Take a look at some of the most expensive pianos in the world. You’ll see that each of these has extensive answers to the questions above. 

No matter hold old a piano is, when shopping for a used piano, consider:

The piano brand – a higher quality piano means higher quality parts that won’t wear down over time. 

The age of the piano – for most pianos, a useful life can be anywhere from 20 to 100 years. The older a piano is, ensure you have access to the history behind it to fully understand how well the piano was cared for. 

How well the piano plays – if you’re new, the sales staff will be happy to play it for you to allow you to hear the full range of the piano. Be sure to sit down and touch the keys to get a good feel. 

What can be fixed – even if the old piano is in good working condition, ask questions about future maintenance. Are parts readily available? What timeframe are you looking at for regular maintenance? 

Learning all you can before you buy will ensure you invest in a high quality instrument that will be in your life for years to come. 

How can we help you find the right instrument to suit your needs? 

Are Old Pianos Better Than New Pianos?

Are Old Pianos Better Than New Pianos?

If you’re in the market for a piano, you might be perplexed by the number of old pianos on the market. 

Why are so many old pianos being sold? 

Are old pianos comparable to new pianos? 

Can an old piano be a welcome addition to your home?

Are old pianos better than new pianos?

We get a lot of these questions as people shop around for the right instrument to suit their needs. 

Pianos aren’t like other appliances or machinery inside your home. In fact, in some cases, an old piano can give you more playability than you could get from that new piano you’re considering. Here are a few reasons why. 

It’s all about the sound

Depending on the make and model of piano you’re considering, the piano may have been handmade and crafted one piano at a time. That gives the piano a unique sound, one that may sound superior to a newer piano you might be considering. Sound is everything with an instrument. If you enjoy the music it makes, you’re more likely to sit down and play. 

Restoration can give you access to a better instrument

Have you found a diamond in the rough? Are you bringing a family heirloom into your home, and you’re ready to make it the central focal point of a room? When a piano is well maintained over the years, eventually, it too will need repair. From restringing to a complete overhaul, if a piano has “good bones,” restoration can return it to the piano it once was. That keeps your memories intact, and gives you access to a piano that will continue to create beautiful music for many more years to come. 

The first year of a piano’s life

If you’re considering a new piano, you’ll be happy with your choice. Yet even a new piano will need a lot of TLC the first year to ensure it’s playing just right. When a piano comes out of the box and is set up inside your home, it will need regular tunings as it stretches and moves. Old pianos have the luxury of routine maintenance, which means they might not change as frequently as new ones. But with either piano, you’ll need regular maintenance to ensure it plays at its greatest aptitude. 

The sound is determined by the skills of the technician

Most people think it’s the way a pianist plays the piano. But they can only create the music the piano allows them to create. A skilled technician understands proper tuning. They know how to ensure the voice of the piano reaches its full potential. Can you watch a video and try it yourself? Just realize that proper piano maintenance takes years to learn. It’s the one way to keep your piano in proper working condition, and give yourself a chance to enjoy the process of sitting down to play. 

Are old pianos better than new ones? It depends on what you want. Stop by today, and you can see both in action, and make the right choice for your needs. 

4 Things To Look For When Purchasing a Second Hand Piano

4 Things To Look For When Purchasing a Second Hand Piano

When it comes to buying a new piano for your home, you might start by thinking of a brand new model. But with a little research, you might start dreaming of a used piano instead. 

There are many advantages to purchasing a second hand piano. Let’s start with value. 

All you have to do is search online, and you’ll find a variety of options ready and waiting for you. Search Craigslist, and you can find people offering used pianos for free. Before you fall for these ads, take a little time to learn more about the value of the instrument. In some cases, investing in a second hand piano can be a good investment. If you’re not careful, you can bring home something that will cost you even more down the road. 

Remember, a piano has over 10,000 moving parts in an acoustic piano. To ensure each piece works together to provide beautiful music, it takes a high quality instrument to ensure every detail is doing its part. 

Strings and soundboard

The heart of a piano begins with the way the piano creates sound. That can’t happen without the strings and the soundboard. The strings create over 18 tons of pressure as they are stretched into place within the pinblock. This steel and copper wire is taut perfectly to create the intended sound. Over time, these wires need to be tuned to create the right amount of tension to continue bringing the proper sound. If these strings are neglected for any length of time, they might not be repairable, meaning the only way to correct it will be through replacement. 

The soundboard provides the proper structure to take the string vibrations and reflect it as the tone. Created from wood, this board can become richer and warmer in tone as it ages. However, if the piano is neglected, it can lose its tonal quality.

The piano keys

This is one of the first things most buyers look at, but it’s important to give them a second look. Are they dirty or discolored? If you look between the keys, it can help you further determine overall health. If the keys are subjected to moisture, they might be warped or damaged. Well maintained piano keys should be smooth to the touch, and responsive as you press them down and release them. If you feel sticking, it could be from broken action or worn hammers. 

The piano – inside and out

One of the easiest ways to determine the overall quality of a second hand piano is with a visual inspection. Check out the cabinet. Open the top and peer inside. Do you see scratches, dents, damaged hinges, broken parts, or neglect? You can often tell if neglect is trying to be covered up. 

It can also be a good indicator if you can trace the piano’s history. Can you follow where the piano has been throughout its life? Was it well cared for? Did it have ongoing maintenance? A red flag can come from a comment of “I don’t know.”

Play the piano

The piano isn’t designed to be on display as artwork. It’s intended to be played. So play it. Sit down and play a favorite song. Just starting? When you work with a dealer, they are happy to put the piano into action and help you hear the tonal quality of each piano you consider. 

Overall, if you’re interested in music, you already have a tonal quality you like to hear. By investing in a second hand piano, you can often get the rich tones of a well cared for instrument, at an affordable price. 

When will you bring home your new piano and start playing? 

The Benefits of Buying a Digital Piano

The Benefits of Buying a Digital Piano

If you’re in the market for a new piano, you may have come across digital pianos in your search. Could this be the perfect instrument for your home?

Here are six reasons why digital pianos might be right for you.

  1. Many affordable options

Acoustic pianos are a classic instrument for a reason. They’re beautiful and complex instruments that sound beautiful. However, even the most basic models can be expensive to purchase. 

Digital pianos, on the other hand, start at a few thousand dollars lower than acoustic pianos. If cost has been holding you back from getting a piano, a digital piano might be a good solution for you.

  1. They can have a similar feel and sound as an acoustic piano

If you’ve ever played on a keyboard, you might know that it’s not the same experience as playing a piano. There’s not as much weight to the keys, and it can feel like playing a different instrument entirely. It also doesn’t have the same rich sound.

So are digital pianos the same? If you haven’t tried one out recently, we recommend that you test one out in person. You might be surprised at how much it feels and sounds like an acoustic instrument. Modern digital pianos even mimic the feel of acoustic pianos by weighting their keys with hammers. 

Sound quality and the feel of the instrument do depend on the quality of the piano, however, and a lower-end digital piano might not feel or sound exactly like an acoustic instrument. For this reason, it’s important to test the piano out in person to see if you like it.

  1. The ability to wear headphones while playing

If you live in a household with your family, you might worry about bothering others while you practice a song over and over again. With a digital piano though, you’ll be able to plug your headphones in and practice in your own world. You can also adjust the volume as you play.

  1. No more tuning

Since digital pianos don’t have strings that will go out of tune, you’ll never need a professional tuner to come by and service your piano. As well, digital pianos are less sensitive to temperature and humidity levels. While you may need some maintenance work over your piano’s lifetime, digital pianos are overall easier to maintain.

  1. Great for new piano learners

Digital pianos have a number of features that make learning easy and fun for new players. Smart accompaniments, guide lights, recording features, background rhythms, built-in songs, and different instrument voices all make learning engaging for children and adults alike.

  1. Can last you for decades

Other technology like phones and computers are quickly replaceable, so what about a digital piano? Will it last for a long time, or will you have to replace it when it becomes outdated? The great news is that, with proper care and maintenance, your digital piano can last you for decades. 

Is a digital piano the right instrument for you?